By David Lias
I’ve lived in Vermillion long enough to learn that we are a community of progressive people.
We respect the efforts made by citizens in the past to make our city a fine place to live.
And we have a fairly positive history of addressing problems, when they arise, and fixing them.
Many of the things that make the Vermillion community unique – things that came about because of the dedication and hard work of past generations – have or are in the process of wearing out. They grow obsolete as time marches on.
The city has a pretty good track record of recognizing when the community’s needs are no longer being met, and doing something about it.
Work was already underway on The Bluffs Golf Course when my family moved here. I did have a chance to golf at the old course while The Bluffs was still under construction, and was able to experience, firsthand, the old course’s cow pasture-like qualities – a trait that certainly isn’t appealing when communities near Vermillion had much more challenging and enjoyable courses to offer.
Not all of the improvements that have been made in Vermillion have come easily. The idea of building a new fire station sparked controversy, as did the lengthy, time-consuming and at times bitter process the community endured to finally house city government in a state-of-the-art newly constructed city hall.
One of the city’s latest improvements – the expansion and remodeling of the city library – was accomplished with practically no perceived resistance. That may be due to a rather mutual opinion throughout the community that the facility was not meeting the community’s growing needs. Step into the library today, and one has to wonder why it took so long for those improvements to be made.
There’s a new item that’s been added to Vermillion’s to-do list: a new swimming pool.
The present pool in Prentis Park is about five decades old and has, for several years now, shown its age. It leaks. A lot. This summer, park and recreation department staff estimated that about 10,000 gallons leaked out of the pool every day.
It’s not just water that was lost and had to replaced daily this summer. A significant amount of the chemicals used to treat the water to make it safe for swimmers also flowed away on a daily basis over the past three months.
Vermillion Parks and Rec Director Jim Goblirsch, who hasn’t been on the job for very long, has brought a fresh perspective as he reviews this latest challenge the city must face. You can read a bit more about it elsewhere in this edition of the Plain Talk.
Clearly, the problems with the swimming pool can’t be ignored any longer, and we commend city leaders and staff for the action that’s been taken so far as they look ahead.
It’s a job they shouldn’t, and really can’t, do alone. All of the great things that have happened in Vermillion over the past two decades came about because of citizen involvement and support.
We know the public has been involved in the overall process of trying to determine how to best solve the swimming pool problem.
We encourage Vermillionites to continue to be model citizens. The pool is, simply put, yet another “problem” that needs solving. Please lend your input to the mayor, members of the city council, and staff of the city parks and recreation department to help them plan the best solution.